Lilies are part of a diverse group of vibrantly-colored flowers with large blooms and pleasing scents. With over 90 types of species, it was becoming difficult keeping track of all the different types, so a classification system was created to organize the many varieties of lilies. All true lilies have 2 common characteristics, though, which are six petals and six anthers (the oval sacks containing pollen). After that, colors, shapes, sizes, scents, and patterns are all immensely varied.
A traditional story of the origin of the lily dates back to Greek mythology, where the Goddess Hera created lilies on Earth when she spilled a few drops of her breast milk. Since Hera is the Goddess of marriage, women, and childbirth, the lily is often associated with rebirth and motherhood. In China, the lily is a favorite flower in weddings because it symbolizes good luck and 100 years of love. In Christianity, lilies, especially the Madonna lily, are associated with the Virgin Mary and signify purity and chastity.
Additional lily symbolism related to the color of the bloom:
- White lilies = purity, virtue, and innocence.
- Pink lilies = abundance and prosperity.
- Red lilies = love and passion
- Orange lilies = confident, wealth, and pride
- Yellow lilies = joy, thankfulness, and good health
Lilies have been revered in many cultures throughout history and is often associated with royalty. Other common meanings attributed to the lily is purity, grace, fertility, and rebirth. Lilies have a certain regal-ness and purity about them which makes them a popular feature in significant ceremonies such as weddings, celebrations, and coronations.
Lily Classifications & Examples
Pink Pixie Lilies
Division 1: Asiatic Hybrid – Most popular lilies in the world. Grow in almost every color but have little to no scent. Attractive and long-lasting. (Tango, Forever Susan, Orange Pixie, Elodie)
Turk’s Cap Lily
Division 2: Martagon Hybrid – Dramatic, visually interesting with downward-facing blossoms. Brightly colored. (Turk’s Cap)
Division 3: Candidum Hybrid – Large blooms with a lovely fragrance. (Madonna Lily)
Division 4: American Hybrid – Includes hybrids of wild lilies in North America. (Tiger Lily)
Division 5: Longiflorum Hybrid – Elegant pure white and trumpet-shaped. Bloom during Easter. (Easter Lily)
African Queen Lily
Division 6: Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrids – Trumpet-shaped flowers, tall, elegant sweet fragrance. (African Queen)
Division 7: Oriental Hybrid – Large, upright flowers with enchanting fragrance. (Casablanca, Acapulco, Stargazer)
Orange LA Hybrid Lily
Division 8: Interdivisional Hybrids – Hybrids of the previous seven divisions.
Wild Yellow and Red Lily
Division 9: Species – Wild parents of the previous 8 hybrids.
There is nothing quite like the lily with all of its grandeur, vibrancy, unique shapes, and marvelous fragrance. Now that you are more familiar with the different types of lilies, you’ll have no trouble finding one that is perfect for the special people in your life. Expressions Unlimited has a wonderful selection of bouquets featuring lilies and other gorgeous blooms. Find the perfect gift here when you’re ready to brighten someone’s day.